LivingSocial, the Washington D.C.-based daily deals site, has laid off 400 staffers as it aims to turn a profit, a spokesperson tells All Things D. That amounts to a 10 percent cutback, leaving the company with about 4,100 employees.
Backed by Amazon.com, LivingSocial operates a branch office in Seattle, which we’ve heard was impacted in the latest cutbacks. (We also heard that laid off staffers are getting generous severance packages that includes six weeks of pay if they continue to work for the company for 60 days). We’ve reached out to LivingSocial to get more details, though All Things D’s Tricia Duryee notes that the company’s offices in Seattle and San Francisco will remain open.
UPDATE: A LivingSocial spokesperson confirmed to GeekWire that 400 staffers lost their jobs, adding that less than half of the Seattle employees were impacted. “Most of those employees are in transition for the next several weeks at least, and the office will remain open going forward,” the spokesperson said.
Most of the cuts occurred in customer service and administration, with those functions moving to Tucson, Arizona.
Last month, Amazon.com reported a third quarter loss of $274 million, with the online retailer tossing some of the blame on its investment in LivingSocial. According to Amazon, more than half of its losses for the quarter, roughly $169 million, were tied to the Groupon rival.
LivingSocial boasts a 29 percent ownership stake from Amazon (now valued at $94 million). It showed an operating loss of $753 million and a net loss of $503 million for the nine months ended September 30th. That occurred on revenue of $372 million for the period.
LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy said in a memo obtained by All Things D last mont that the results “don’t tell the full story.” He said:
“When you look at our financial position, the story is very different. For the third quarter of 2012, our global revenue nearly doubled on a year-over-year basis. More important, for the first time since 2009, we had positive operating cash flow for our company on a global basis in the month of September. In other words, we ended the last month of the quarter with more money in the bank than we had at the beginning of the month, marking an important milestone on our path to profitability and long-term success.